I don't want to say that this is a really big warning sign for things to come. We've seen so many locally owned/operated restaurants close their Missoula doors in the last few years, but when the big corporate fast-food chains start closing, that's a major red flag.

Let's go back to the shutdown. Remember when you couldn't go to your favorite Montana restaurant or bar? No more sitting down for a nice dinner (when you could afford one before the massive rent hikes), no more grabbing a cold beer with your coworkers at the end of the week. If you wanted a restaurant meal, it was a drive-through at a big fast food chain only. If you wanted groceries or housing goods you had to go to a big corporate box store with a few local exceptions. It wasn't fair. All these billion-dollar corporations were able to keep their doors open, but the mom-and-pop Missoula shop down the road had to close shop. This has started a really scary trend locally as almost weekly we are reporting on another Missoula business closing.


Now, in Missoula, it's even hit the corporate fast-food chains.

I remember there was a Subway sandwich shop everywhere in Missoula. Slowly they have started closing their doors. The one on Brooks, then on Russell, and so on.

The latest Subway shop to close is a really big deal. Located on Broadway very close to the interstate and Eastgate Center has cleared out and closed. I swear I was just there last month.



Why is this a big deal?

First, this is a huge corporate chain. Even though these stores are (usually) owned by someone local, they are backed by corporate and their job is always to grow and expand. This particular Subway was perfect as far as location. You had the interstate right there, as well as a major Missoula traffic street, and let's not forget, it was a stone's throw away from the college. These are massive advantages to a fast food joint. My point is, if that specific business with almost every edge they can ask for shut down, then who is next?

As of right now Missoula only has three listed Subway sandwich shops open. That's a massive hit from even 5 years ago.

45 Missoula Businesses That Opened, Changed Ownership, Expanded, or Changed Location

Yes, there has been a lot of change with Missoula businesses since 2020. Here is an idea of the business growth that has taken place.

Gallery Credit: Ashley Warren

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